In the fall of 2009, I was in a discussion with our District Superintendent (DS) for the Methodist Church of Minnesota. We had a good discussion over lunch. At the end of our conversation, I shared with him that I had this feeling of doing more for God and my church. I was the Lay Leader of our church, but didn’t feel I was doing what God wanted from me. The DS told me about a new program called “Certified Lay Ministers.” It was a two-year study and an examination to see if I was called for Lay Ministry.
I had just retired, and thought this was a big endeavor. I talked with Christian friends about this call, and all told me I had enough to handle, especially with my disabled wife, and struggles with a couple of my children. I decided to put it on the back burner and forget about it. A year later, we had a new minister, and he asked if I was willing to give up my role as Lay Leader as someone else was interested. I immediately said yes, because the role is not about me, but rather about allowing others to serve and get closer to God. I began to wonder what I was going to do next. Two weeks later, I was cleaning behind the seat of my truck when I came across one of the sheets the DS had given me on being a Certified Lay Minister. I wondered how that had gotten into my truck since I had taken our car to meet the DS, and my wife doesn’t want my papers left in the car. I was so excited at this God Moment; I shared them with my wife immediately. The next day, I visited with our pastor and shared my experience. Needless to say, I ordered the two-year course, and my pastor signed on as my mentor for the process.
After doing all the work and the psychological exam, I was Commissioned as a Certified Lay Minister in May of 2013. My role, besides serving and assisting the pastor, was called to visitations, and the homeless, and write a monthly article for the newsletter. Later, my role included doing worship services and Bible studies at Assisted Living facilities and retirement villages. I also started a caregivers group as an outreach program at Grace. I continued with these assignments until Covid hit, then I had to cut back as facilities closed so I could protect my family as well. I have continued doing online caregiving with Lutheran Social Services and have also joined an online group for Lay Ministry. Recently, I was asked to create a video for Lay Leadership in Minnesota that I am still working on in the Fall of 2022.
God has been the light unto my path. God has guided me in my writing, worship, and Bible studies. I am always amazed when God gives me the words to say at exactly the right time. God can do the same for you.
In September of 2022, I began a post on this website called Caregiving for All. This post is intended to help those who find themselves in the role of a caregiver and have more questions than answers.